Number of pub sales rises 38% in 2013

09 December 2013 by
Number of pub sales rises 38% in 2013

The total number of pub transactions increased 38% during the year to September 2013, as the six major tenanted pub operators continued to sell off parts of their estates.

That's according to an annual survey of pub prices by property agents Fleurets, which also noted an increase in administration sales during the year.

The total transaction value was worth £148m across the country, an increase of 61%.

Fleurets said that finance continued to be restricted and economic uncertainty was the underlying trend, although with residential values increasing in some areas, and with improving like-for-like sales there were signs "that things could be starting to change".

There was no change in the average sale price of "bottom end" freeholds, at £217,403, with 54% sold for less than £200,000, and 50% of sales for non-pub use.

Leaseholds saw a 3.7% incrase in average sale price nationally, and there were double the number of £100,000 leasehold deals.

But the average sale price of freehold freehouses dropped 12% nationally, thanks in part to a 138% increase in the number of freehold sales. A total of 60% of those transactions were in the south, and 74% of freehouses were sold for continued pub use.

Looking forward to 2014, Fleurets said: "We anticipate that many of the Tenanted Pub Companies are nearing the end of their mass sales programme. Fewer numbers will be sold on an individual basis in the year ahead. This may leave the door open for banks who are holding positions in some pub companies to push bottom end pubs onto the market and crystallise their position. Pub cos may need to sell packages of tenanted pubs, let on secure agreements, as opposed to individual sales with vacant possession, if they are going to meet their on-going disposal objectives.

"The Cerberus/Admiral deal at the start of the year led the way, and the Marstons/REIT deal just last month suggests there may be more to follow. We are certainly seeing increased interest in package deals from private equity investors. Many vendors, however, may not yet be willing to accept what purchasers are ready to pay."

Marston's pub company to sell 202 pubs for £90m amid positive annual results >>

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